Popular Things to do in Munich

Munich, the capital city of the German state of Bavaria, is located in the southeastern part of Germany. It is the third largest city in Germany and has a population of over 1.5 million people. Munich is famous for its rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and scenic surroundings. It is home to many historic buildings, museums, and galleries, including the Alte Pinakothek, Neue Pinakothek, and the Deutsches Museum, which is one of the world’s largest science museums. Munich also has many beautiful parks and gardens, such as the English Garden and the Nymphenburg Palace Gardens.

Munich is well-known for its beer and is home to the world-famous Oktoberfest, which attracts millions of visitors every year. The city is also a hub for technology and innovation, with many high-tech companies and research institutes based there.

In addition to its cultural and technological offerings, Munich is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with a thriving food scene, lively nightlife, and a rich sports culture, with football being particularly popular.

How to get to city center from Munich Airport

Munich Airport is about 45 minutes away from the city center by public transportation and about 30 minutes by car and taxi. A Taxi will cost €50-60 and a private transfer slightly more. There are 2 option for public transport:

1. Lufthansa Express Bus: buses leave from 4 stops at the Munich airport every 20 minutes, and the journey takes 25 minutes to Munich Schwabing and 45 minutes to Munich Central Station. A one-way ticket is €11 per person and €17.5 roundtrip. Child aged 5 and under travel free. 6 to 14 years old pay half price. Ticket can be bought online at their website or from the driver.

2. Take the the S-Bahn (the Suburban Railway) train which connects central Munich with the suburb. Both the S1 and S8 offer routes from Munich Airport into the city center that take about 45 minutes. Each one comes every twenty minutes, meaning trains into the city are only ten minutes apart. If your final destination is the Munich Central station, then just hop onto whichever train comes first. Train cost €11.6 and you can buy the ticket at the ticket machine.

Our train from Salzburg to Munich was only 1.5 hours so we arrived early in Munich. We were happy to see that the train platform was flat so we didn’t have to lift our suitcases and we could walk to our Accor hotel near the train station.

How to get around

Munich’s public transport network is efficient and economical. It has a free app that you can use to plan your journeys around the city: MVV-App.

Tickets for Munich’s public transport network are the same for every mode of transport. Prices range from €2.90 for a single ticket covering one zone, and from €6.70 for a one-day travel card around the inner city area. A one-way ticket costs €11.60, but you can purchase a one-day travel card for €13.

U-Bahn: Munich’s underground railway network has 8 lines serving almost 100 different stations around the city. The U-Bahn operates daily from 4:15 am to 1 am, with trains running every 5 to 10 minutes. On Fridays, Saturdays and the nights before public holidays, trains run all through the night.

S-Bahn: Munich’s urban train network was established in 1972 as part of the modernization efforts for the Olympic Games. Its eight lines cover almost 150 different stations, connecting the city centre with the airport and Dachau Concentration Camp. The S-Bahn operates daily from approximately 4:15 am to 1 am, with trains running every 10 minutes in rush hour and every 20 minutes during the rest of the day. At night, trains depart every 20 to 40 minutes. On Fridays, Saturdays and the nights before public holidays, trains run all through the night.

Tram: Munich’s tramway dates back to 1876, when it operated with horsecars departing from a central hub at Karlsplatz. There are now 13 daytime train lines and 4 nighttime lines, covering a total of 165 stops throughout Munich. Trams operate daily from 4:45 am to 1:30 am, and the 4 nighttime routes run daily from 1:30 am to 4:30 am.

Bus: The most useful bus route for tourists is line 100, which stops at all of Munich’s museums, making for convenient travel between them. Munich’s bus network operates daily: most lines run from 5 am to 1 am with buses departing every 10 to 20 minutes. There are also night buses covering the main routes throughout the night.

Top things to see in Munich

We started our tour from Marienplatz, a tram away from our Hotel.

Marienplatz and the Neues Rathaus

Marienplatz has been Munich’s central square since the city’s foundation; the site of medieval jousting tournaments; and until 1807, where markets were held. In addition to the massive Neues Rathaus (New City Hall) that fills one entire side of the square, you’ll find the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) forming a gate at the far end.

In the large open square are the Mariensäule, a tall column to the Virgin Mary erected in 1638, and the Fischbrunnen, a newer fountain that includes bronze figures rescued from an earlier 19th-century fountain. Popular with shoppers for its stores, boutiques, and restaurants, Marienplatz is the focus of festivals and scene of a large Christmas Market, one of several in the city. During the Fasching carnival, the Narren-Lindwurm (dragon) dances over the square.

Daily at 11am and noon, and at 5pm from March through October, everyone stops to watch the famous Glockenspiel on the front of the Neues Rathaus, as its mechanical figures dine, joust, and dance. It’s one of the city’s best-loved traditions, and shouldn’t be missed.

Asamkirche (Asam Church)

The beautiful Rococo Asam Church, dedicated to St. John of Nepomuk, was completed in 1746 by brothers Cosmas and Egid Asam and is richly decorated with stucco figures, frescoes, and oil paintings. While its exterior is impressive enough, particularly the large doorway flanked by massive columns and crowned by a figure of St. John kneeling in prayer, it’s the interior that’s most memorable.

Highlights include a wrought-iron grille from 1776 that separates the stucco figures of the saints from the long nave with its galleries. On the projecting cornice under the ceiling is a magnificent fresco depicting the life of St. John. The most notable feature of the interior, though, is the high altar, enclosed by four twisted columns and on which sits a glass shrine containing a wax figure of the church’s patron saint.

Check out the art museums

Munich has several world-class museums, including the Alte Pinakothek, Neue Pinakothek, and the Pinakothek der Moderne, which house some of the best art collections in Europe.

Alte Pinakothek houses one of the most extensive collections of European paintings from the Middle Ages to the end of the Baroque era. The museum’s collection includes over 800 masterpieces by famous artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Rembrandt van Rijn. The paintings are arranged in chronological order, providing visitors with a fascinating journey through the evolution of European art. Some of the most famous works in the collection include Dürer’s “Self-Portrait,” Leonardo da Vinci’s “Madonna and Child,” and Rembrandt’s “Self-Portrait with Two Circles.” The museum also has an extensive collection of German and Flemish paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries, including works by Hans Holbein the Elder, Lucas Cranach the Elder, and Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

Neue Pinakothek‘s collection includes more than 4000 paintings and sculptures from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The collection features works by prominent artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin, and Edvard Munch. The museum’s exhibits are arranged thematically, allowing visitors to explore different aspects of 19th-century art and culture. Some of the most famous works in the collection include van Gogh’s “Sunflowers,” Monet’s “Water Lilies,” and Rodin’s “The Thinker.” The museum also has an extensive collection of German Romantic and Expressionist paintings, including works by Caspar David Friedrich, Franz von Stuck, and Max Beckmann.

Pinakothek der Moderne is a modern and contemporary art museum located in Munich, Germany. It was opened in 2002 and is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art and design in Europe. The museum’s collection includes over 20,000 works of art and design from the 20th and 21st centuries. The collection features works by prominent artists such as Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Andy Warhol, and Gerhard Richter. The museum’s exhibits are arranged thematically, allowing visitors to explore different aspects of modern and contemporary art and design. The Pinakothek der Moderne is divided into four main collections: the modern art collection, the graphic art collection, the architecture museum, and the design museum. The modern art collection features paintings, sculptures, and installations from the early 20th century to the present day. The graphic art collection includes prints, drawings, and photographs by modern and contemporary artists. The architecture museum showcases architectural drawings, models, and designs, while the design museum features furniture, household objects, and other design pieces from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Visit the Nymphenburg Palace

Nymphenburg Palace is a magnificent Baroque palace located in the west of Munich, Germany. It was built in the 17th and 18th centuries as a summer residence for the rulers of Bavaria and is one of the most impressive royal residences in Europe.

The palace complex consists of several buildings, including the main palace, a large park, and several smaller buildings such as the Amalienburg hunting lodge and the Badenburg bathhouse. The main palace features stunning architecture, including a central pavilion with a dome and two wings that extend outwards. The façade is adorned with numerous statues, fountains, and other decorative elements.

Inside the palace, visitors can explore the richly decorated rooms and halls, which feature exquisite furniture, tapestries, and artwork. Some of the most notable rooms include the Great Hall, the Gallery of Beauties, and the Porcelain Room, which houses one of the largest collections of Meissen porcelain in the world.

The palace park is also a popular attraction, with beautifully landscaped gardens, fountains, and sculptures. Visitors can take a stroll around the park, enjoy a picnic on the lawns, or rent a boat to explore the park’s waterways.

Nymphenburg Palace is open to the public throughout the year, and visitors can choose from several guided tours and audio guides in multiple languages. It’s easily accessible by public transportation or car and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Munich, offering a fascinating insight into the history and culture of Bavaria.

Take a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most famous castles in the world, located just outside of Munich and known as the inspiration for the Disney castle. Read our day trip to the castle here.

English Garden

Munich’s English Garden is not only the largest city park in Germany. It covers an area of 910 acres is also one of the most beautiful. Naturally arranged groups of trees and plants offer ever-changing vistas, and nine kilometers of winding streams and an artificial lake complete the impression of a natural landscape.

Designed in 1785 as a military garden, the English Garden attracts walkers, joggers, and cyclists to its 78 kilometers of pathways and bridle paths. It’s also a pleasant place to sunbathe and picnic, and you can stop for a snack or drink at the Chinesischen Turm (Chinese Tower), a 25-meter-tall pagoda.

Attend the Oktoberfest

The world’s largest beer festival is held annually in Munich in late September and early October.

Go shopping

Munich has many great shopping streets and districts, such as the famous Maximilianstrasse and the trendy Glockenbachviertel.

Visit Ingolstad Designer Outlet

Ingolstadt Village is a luxury shopping destination located in the heart of Bavaria, Germany, approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Munich. It is part of the Chic Outlet Shopping group, which has other shopping destinations in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Ingolstadt Village is home to more than 110 boutiques of international luxury and premium brands, such as Armani, Burberry, Gucci, Prada, and Versace, among others. The village has a beautiful open-air setting, with traditional Bavarian architecture, and it’s a perfect place to enjoy a day of shopping in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.

The village offers a range of services to make shopping easier, such as a personal shopper service, hands-free shopping, and tax-free shopping for non-European Union residents. Additionally, there are various restaurants, cafes, and food outlets throughout the village, serving a range of local and international cuisine.

Ingolstadt Village is easily accessible by car or by train, with regular shuttle services operating from Munich city center. It is open seven days a week, and visitors can enjoy discounts of up to 60% off the recommended retail price all year round.

Watch a football match

Munich is home to two major football teams, Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munich, and attending a match is a great way to experience the local sports culture.

You will need more than 1 day to explore all the top things to do in Munich but if you are short on time we suggest to spend minimum 2 days; one day in Munich and the second day take a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. You will need a third day to do shopping if you have the luxury to do so. I hope our article helps. Enjoy Munich!

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